Arson attempted at atheist billboard in NJ

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Associated Press

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 8:00 AM

PITMAN, N.J. (AP) — Police say someone tried to torch a billboard in New Jersey that was put up by atheists to protest a "Keep Christ in Christmas" banner.

The billboard proclaims "Keep Saturn in Saturnalia," a reference to an ancient celebration of the Roman god of agriculture. It's paid for by the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Authorities say it was torched Tuesday night by two unidentified men who fled in a pickup truck.

The sign didn't burn, but its steel support beams were charred.

The atheist group has been trying since 2011 to have a privately funded Christmas banner in Pitman removed or have one added for nonbelievers.

The foundation is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.

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